A lot of the more legit athletic commissions across America still report salary numbers for MMA fighters, a tradition we inherited from boxing in an attempt to give fighters a little transparency into who makes what. It seems a little pointless now since the salaries disclosed to commissions have very little to do with how much money an athlete actually makes.
The 200k paid to Anderson Silva? Didn’t include the millions of dollars he made off his cut of PPV sales. And the 9k flyweight contender Ian McCall made in his rematch against Demetrious Johnson? Also nowhere near how much McCall actually made. Here’s Ian on the Underground Forums defending the UFC from people bitching about how little he was paid:
Dana says he doesn’t like to give out real numbers, which is def. the truth cause i came on here and saw people saying things like i shoulda got paid more even though i lost but i headlined the card..
i did, dana sent me an extra 25k right after the fight plus i got main event sponsor money haha
the UFC pays you to do your job, if you do it than you get paid good.. in my UFC debut i made over 80,000… thats a lot of money for a division half the MMA community didn’t know existed!!
i love all of you guys, most of you know my life story, i just wanted you to know that i get taken care of by the UFC real well, ESPECIALLY when it comes to $!
All i gotta do now is beat the crap out of someone and move forward and start making anderson moneyyy !!!!!!!
It’s nice to know McCall was taken care of but the downside is it sounds like a lot of guys are stuck relying on the UFC throwing them fat locker room bonuses or hitting the bonus award jackpot. From McCall’s first UFC fight, 50k of the 80k he says he made was from a Fight of the Night bonus. Great if you hit it, but what if you don’t? 30k per fight might sound pretty good, until you factor in how much a UFC-caliber training camp costs.
While it’s kinda strange that commissions allow the UFC to basically hide half the payments they’re making, it’s good to know that extra cash seems to be flowing freely. Here’s hoping there’s enough of it locked in via contract that guys don’t have to rely on Zuffa generosity from fight to fight to make enough to live comfortably.